Samuel Barber: Die Natali (Chorale Preludes for Christmas), Op. 37
Giovanni Gabrieli: Sonata pian ‘e forte
Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 96 in D major (The Miracle)
Johann Strauss, Jr.: An der schönen blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), Op. 314
Leroy Anderson: Sleigh Ride
Leroy Anderson: Christmas Festival
Barber’s Die Natali combines the warmth of traditional Christmas carols and the contrapuntal ingenuity of one of America’s greatest composers. Commissioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra for its 75th anniversary, this masterpiece includes many favorites, such as O Come, Emmanuel, Lo, How a Rose e’er Blooming, We Three Kings of Orient are, God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas and Silent Night.
Composed during his first trip to London, Haydn’s “Miracle” Symphony earned its nickname when a chandelier fell from the ceiling of the concert hall in which it was performed. The audience managed to dodge the chandelier entirely, as they had all crowded to the front for the post-performance applause. While perhaps not as significant as the peace and goodwill the Yuletide Holiday bestows upon the human race, it is nice to celebrate the small miracles, too. Just be sure to keep an eye out for falling ornaments and light bulbs during the performance.
Pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m. with Maestro Hughes